I took a surf class a couple of weeks ago and we were in what, to me, was fairly heavy surf. Definitely not good surf (very dumping, irregular period, just generally erratic). Anyway, I was riding a breaking wave in at a fairly brisk clip when I began to broach. In lighter surf, this is my normal controlled surf landing. Get sideways to the wave, hi brace with my elbows down low and just ride it in. This wave would have none of it and I got rolled, and then at some point during the couple of seconds when I was spun upside down, my shoulder sort of popped and my arm became useless. I wet exited and headed to the beach. Shoulder snapped back in place a couple of minutes later. I have my first appt with a physical therapist tomorrow. Didn’t seem like a major dislocation, but I’m pretty sure it was in that category of events. In trying to reconstruct the accident, I believe that what must have happened is as follows. I turned right (shore to left), was bracing on right, got rolled towards shore (counterclockwise) and probably straightened my body out (trying to shift torso from facing right to facing left). My guess is that as I did that, the paddle swung around to the other side of the boat (as if I was trying to keep it parallel to boat, near the hull, on the left side of my boat). I believe I may have ended up with the paddle being pulled away from me, toward shore, and that it got a bit behind the direction that my torso was facing. Anyway, it all happened so fast, I’m not really certain, but that seems like a plausible scenario based on what I remember and what I believe my instincts may have been.
I don’t see myself becoming a surf kayaker…I just want to be able to get in through surf if need be. I REALLY don’t want to risk a more serious shoulder injury. I guess one question is what should one do when a failed high brace and tumble in the surf (I believe some call this being window shaded?, or a Maytag moment) is imminent. Maybe I should just drop the paddle, wait for the tumult to end, and try to roll up with my spare paddle which I keep assembled (well, its a GP so no assembly necessary) on the foredeck. And if that doesn’t work, just wet exit and let me and my kayak find our way to the beach independently. I don’t know but am eager to hear others thoughts. Thanks. (may have a second post on the general topic)